COVID-19 Live Music Sector – Reactions, Impact & Support

Last update: 27/05/2020 – 16:00

The shut-down or reduction in activities in order to meet the requirements to prevent the virus from spreading has a dramatic effect on the cultural sector, and the small live music organisers in particular. The economic situation of live music venues, clubs, and festivals is already very fragile as they are very dependent on revenues generated by audience expenses to survive. They are now under tremendous pressure and fear for their existence.

These places, and the live music associations, have to act fast in order to prevent too much financial, health and prejudice harm for live music venues, their audiences and their workers. Concrete measures and support from government that can be implemented quickly are crucial to prevent individuals and organisation from financial ruin.

In this article you will find:

  1. An overview of National Governments Restrictions or Measures Affecting the Live Music Sector
  2. An overview of Advocacy work & governmental support per country & Live DMA member

To complete this article, find here an overview article of the European Union’s Reactions and Measures. Browse our other resource on COVID-19 here!

1. National Governments Restrictions or Measures Affecting the Live Music Sector

Find here the Live DMA COVID-19 map of the live music sector’s situation in each country.


EMEE have released an overview of the measures taken at national level which impacts live music events. This list will be updated depending on the change of measures taken at national level.
>> Click here to access the latest updates on measures taken at national level.


The website POLITICO has also released a blog with live updates on coronavirus.
>> You can access the Corona Live Blog here.

2. Advocacy work & governmental support

National live music associations have been very reactive to the national measures taken, as the situation evolves from one day to another.

The measures taken at national level vary from one country to another: from recommendations not to attend events of over 5000 people to ban on events of over 1000 or 500 or even 100 people to venues being closed down and cities being into quarantine for the most severe cases. Some governments apply this to all types of events, others only to indoor events. Some of these measures are taken at local level (only for a given city, canton or region), others are taken at national level.

The potential lack of clarity of the measures, and the fact they vary from day to day makes it difficult for live music associations to anticipate their activities and communication on COVID-19.

Many Live DMA members have released statements to inform the public authorities of the impact of such measures for live music venues, clubs or festivals. No live music association questions the necessity of such measures to avoid the virus to spread. Our Italian member, KeepOn Live even put into place an initiative to keep live music alive by streaming some concerts online for people to enjoy while they are at home. Find some examples of statements and initiatives below:

Belgium

Wallonia-Brussels

Advocacy work from live music sector

Our member Court-Circuit in Wallonia-Brussels has released an article keeping track of the situation in the Belgian French-speaking region and of the concerts that are cancelled and the venues that are closed.
>> Access the article here.

Court-Circuit partnered with other representative music association from Wallonia-Brussels to launch the Now What? project, including a questionnaire to keep track of the venues cancelations and loss, as well as a newsletter giving information for the sector. They also declare their desire to advocate as the sector’s voice during the crisis towards public authorities.


As the government announced a ban on large gatherings until the 31st of August, the live music association Court-Circuit wonders in an article what will become of “small venues’ concerts” during the summer, based on the examples of other countries. They have also, with other Belgian music association, released a statement asking for the prolongation of unemployment and aid schemes until December 2020 at least.
>> read the statement (in French)

Aid efforts supporting the live music sector

To be completed.

Flanders

Aid efforts supporting the live music sector

Minister of Consumer Affairs Nathalie Muylle announced the following measures:

In case of force majeure, the organizer must not fulfill his contractual obligations, the same applies in reverse for the customer. Specifically, this means that the customer can request a refund of sums already paid. The organizer may postpone an event to a later date, however the consumer cannot be obliged to accept the event on an alternative date and in this case is entitled to a refund of his ticket.

As this situation would currently lead to severe income loss and could put many organizations in serious financial difficulties, this arrangement was worked out for events affected by the corona crisis:

• The organizer will temporarily not be required to refund tickets if the same event is organized at a later date within a reasonable time

• If the consumer can demonstrate that it is not possible to attend the event on that new date, a refund of the tickets can be provided (for example illness or professional reasons)

• If the event cannot be organized at a later time, the organizer must be given enough time to make the refunds so that refunds can be spread over time.

Link to Interview with Minister Nathalie Muylle (NL)

Denmark

Advocacy work from live music sector

In Denmark, Dansk Live have been working together with their national authorities to put into place the “Corona unit of the Government and the business community”: a compensation scheme for the cancellation of events as a result of COVID-19. The scheme compensates for lost revenue due to cancelations of events as well as for extra expenses due to deferred events. The scheme applies for events which were to take place from the 6th of March until the 31st of March 2020.
>> Read the full statement and conditions for compensations here (in Danish).

Aid efforts supporting the live music sector

On 11 March 2020, Denmark notified the Commission of its intention to set up a DKK 91 million (€12 million) aid scheme to compensate organisers of events with more than 1,000 participants or targeted at designated risk groups, such as the elderly or vulnerable people, irrespective of the number of participants, which had to be cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Under the scheme, operators would be entitled to be compensated for the losses suffered as a consequence of the cancellations or postponements of the events, for which, for example, tickets were already sold.

A compensation scheme has been created allowing organisations to seek compensation for lost revenue as well as additional expenses generated by postponed events. This scheme has been the response to the demand from the live music sector to protect organisations with fragile business models particularly exposed in this crisis.  


On the 6th of April 2020, the Danish government has announced a ban on large public gatherings until August 2020. DanskLive expressed the relief of the live music sector to finally be able to have a clearer view of the future in the midst of this terrible situation.


The compensation scheme for events caused by COVID-19 as a result of COVID-19 is extended until 31 August.

The scheme will also cover more events than before. Compensation can now be sought for events with over 350 participants, where previously only compensation for events with over 1000 participants could be sought. In addition, consecutive events have now also been included in the pool, so events such as festivals, which usually run over several days are now also included in the pool.

The extension of the compensation scheme follows the ban on larger assemblies until 31 August.

>> More info on Dansk Live’s website

Estonia

As state of emergency was announced in Estonia on 13/03/2020, Live Music Estonia, with other organisations from the sector, launched a list of recommendations to the Estonian Ministry of Culture and government to mitigate the economic damage for the live music sector of the COVID-19 crisis .
Live ME asks for an assessment of the damages for the sector and state aid effort to reduce them:

  • to establish an emergency fund in cooperation with the Cultural Ministry of Estonia and local governments to support:
    – Concert organizers and venues so that they can fulfill their contractual obligations towards employees, artists and tech companies; as well as to compensate the organizers of cultural events for the obligation to repurchase tickets for deferred or canceled concerts;
    – freelance musicians and the entrepreneurs who represent them (agencies, managers, etc.), who have lost their main and, in many cases, sole income, due to their missing concerts;
    – on a case-by-case basis, other independent and private operators in the music sector who have lost their primary income as a result of the situation;
  • make the use of existing public grants more flexible so that beneficiaries can reorganize their activities in an emergency, for example by channeling grants for concert activities to development or elsewhere and avoiding the withdrawal of grants already granted;
  • initiate a debate on the reduction of VAT on concert tickets to 5% before the previous economic crisis, or consider lowering VAT to 0%, as has been the case in Latvia and Lithuania for decades. This would help restore the sector’s capacity;
  • find an operational solution to provide the sector with bridge financing for running costs, if necessary, to avoid immediate redundancies in small businesses and other current liabilities.

Live ME is also currently running a questionnaire to map the losses of the Estonian music ecosystem in order to assess the damages on live music of the COVID-19 crisis to public authorities, an initiative welcomed by the Ministry of Culture in Estonia.


Live Music Estonia and Music Estonia are compiling all documents, plans, articles, etc. in a Google Drive open to all. It includes essential articles and references to some initiatives such as a donation system for artists and venues put up by a ticketing company or the citizen solidarity initiatives.

Access Live ME Corona-drive

Finland

The COVID-19 crisis has also hit the Finnish live music sector: estimations by LiveFIN amounts net sales losses in March-May to over EUR 90 million. This threat affects 30 000 jobs and the whole music ecosystem.  LiveFIN demands direct and strong state aid-funds from the Finnish government in order to support local music scenes.
>> Access LiveFIN’s statement


The Ministry of Education and Culture has announced a new funding channel that will also compensate communities like our members for the losses caused by coronavirus control measures in spring 2020. The grant is intended for the activities of professional communities in the creative industries, arts and culture, the exercise of which has been hampered or prevented by restrictions caused by the corona pandemic. Grants cannot be awarded to organizations that have received a grant from Business Finland or the ELY Center for the same purpose. The aim is to be able to maintain the operating conditions of the arts, culture and creative industries during the emergency situation caused by the corona pandemic.
>> read LiveFIN’s article on this (in Finnish, 30/04/2020)

France

Capacity-building and advocacy of the live music sector

Collectif Culture Bar-Bars sends regularly some newslettere containing information with the updates on the national measures affecting their members (prevention measures, compensation schemes, insurance…). They make their newsletter public and available on their Facebook page.

FEDELIMA, with other French music organisationshave release the statement “Cultural Diversity and Solidarity: Urgent Measures Need To Be taken ” (in French). In this statement, they notably ask:

  • the arrangement of the intermittent status under which many workers and artists in France are;
  • the implementation of a safeguard plan for small and non-profit organisations;
  • to be part of a dialogue with the government in order to find solutions together.

The signatories also calls for intra-sectorial solidarity during this crisis.


On 25th of March 2020, FEDELIMA released a joint letter with 19 other music organisations to raise the alarm on the potential consequences of the COVID-19 crisis on the structures and people who do the musical diversity in France. The 20 signatories represent over 1500 music structures in France (live music venues, radios, labels, producers, music schools…) and they have estimated that the closures of the venues from 15th of March to 31st of May 2020 would cost €300 billion to the French music sector.
Despite this economic loss, their would be other damages:

  • more precarity for music sector’s workers;
  • impact on other sectors which notably rely on the music sector’s activity (hotels, restaurants, security and cleaning companies…);
  • economic loss (not included in the €300 billion) that cannot yet be counted (due to cancellations or reports of shows, loss of patrons…);
  • The difficulty of public financial management due to the postponement of the municipal elections in France because of COVID-19;
  • The competitiveness and busy period for music venues once they will open again will inevitably induce show cancellations:
  • The potential psychological impact on audiences‘ behaviour and habits;

The signatories of this letter ask for a sustainable and long-term recovery plan for the music sector, and not only emergency state aid.

After some specific demands for the French music sector, the signatories call for solidarity during this peculiar times, especially as it is the first moments of existence of the National Center of Music, a state institution reuniting all organisations of the music sector. They hope this crisis will reassert the value of all public services and that future policies will turn to putting general interest at their core.

Read the statement – 25/03/2020 (FR)


After the lockdown in France was announced until the 11th of May, and the president forbid large gatherings until “mid-july at least”, the French Ministry of Culture announced that some small festivals could take place after the 11th of May. He described rural festivals of not more than 50 people, all sitting on a chair at 1m of distance, with masks and gel to wash their hands. This statement provoked vivid reactions among the sector. FEDELIMA and other music organisations released a statement “What Festivals after the 11th of May?”, to ask a clear and detailed order from the government, expliciting in which conditions such festivals could take place.
>> read the full statement (in French)

Aid efforts supporting the live music sector

The Ministry of Culture announced that for the music sector, a support fund will be set up for the most vulnerable professionals and will be endowed by the National Music Centre (CNM) with an initial budget of €10 million, which may be supplemented by external funding. The CNM will also suspend the collection of taxes on ticketing for the month of March 2020. This is part of a global emergency fund for culture of €22 million for culture. Link to press statement (FR)

In addition to the measures announced by the Government and in particular by the Minister of Culture, several decisions have been taken to assist the music industry. The tax on shows has been suspended and the payment of aid has been simplified. Above all, the National Centre for Music (CNM) has decided to set up an immediate financial support mechanism amounting to €11.5M (including the financial aid package announced by the Ministry of Culture). This plan is only a first step and is intended to be completed and expanded very quickly. Link to CNV Covid-19 support page (FR)

Specific measures to support artists and workers that depend of the live performing regime Intermittence were announced in order to limit the social impacts of this crisis which particularly affects performers and seasonal workers and other short contract employees. Link to press statement (FR)

The author rights collecting society Sacem also announced aid measures for live performance organisations.

Venues and clubs can also apply for partial activity, a tool provided by the government for preventing economic layoffs, making it possible to keep employees in employment, avoid short-time working in order to maintain or even strengthen their skills when their company is facing economic difficulties.

In addition, the Government has put in place immediate support measures for businesses in general. The State, as well as local authorities have recognized the Coronavirus as a case of force majeure for their public contracts.

  • Delays in the payment of social and/or fiscal installments
  • In the most difficult situations, direct tax discounts may be decided in the context of an individualized examination of applications ;
  • Support from the State and the Banque de France to negotiate a rescheduling of bank loans with the bank;
  • The mobilization of the Investment Bank Bpifrance to guarantee bank lines of credit that companies may need because of the epidemic;
  • The maintenance of employment in companies through the simplified and reinforced short-time working scheme;
  • Support for the handling of a conflict with customers or suppliers by the business mediator;

Germany

Advocacy work from live music sector

The German live music association LiveKomm have realised several actions to react to the COVID-19 measures. A statement was released, a poll was sent to their members to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on their activities as well as a communication toolkit for their members to communicate effectively on coronavirus.

>> Read the statement here (in German).

Translation of the statement: (Translated with www.DeepL.com)

The LiveMusicCommission e.V. (LiveKomm for short) welcomes the decision of the Federal Government to make aid packages available for the economy, but calls for small and medium-sized cultural and creative businesses to be included in the planning.
For in view of the recommendation of the Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn to cancel events with more than 1,000 people, there is great uncertainty.
The small and medium-sized cultural businesses now fear for their existence, as an ordered closure threatens insolvency for many operators. Above all, the privately operating music clubs and festivals, which receive little or no substantial public support, cannot survive without the necessary revenues and operate in their cost/revenue structure in the marginal cost range. The same applies to festivals and open airs that have already made advance financial payments and are now uncertain whether their event will take place.
“When Mr. Spahn says. “I also encourage everyone to weigh up what is so important to you in your own everyday life that you don’t want to miss it in the next two to three months – be it the club visit, the birthday party in the family circle or the club meeting. “, then solutions must also be suggested for the enterprises, which receive large problems with these warnings” says Axel Ballreich, executive committee of the LiveKomm.
The operators and organizers in the LiveKomm network were active very early on and are still willing to cooperate intensively to prevent the spread of the virus. Due to the warnings, a considerable drop in visitors is to be expected, which will result in further economic losses. Most clubs in Germany have a capacity far below 1,000 visitors. A loss, especially of small music stages, could have a devastating effect on the entire live music sector for the next few years. With the lack of these stages, whether in the metropolises or in rural areas, the entire new generation of musicians is in danger. LiveKomm therefore calls for concrete and quickly implementable instruments for the live music sector, which could look like the following:

  • the establishment of a default fund for (concert) events
  • the deferral of advance tax payments and health insurance contributions
  • assumption of deficiency guarantees
  • cost sharing for event cancellation insurance
  • rental subsidies for the venues
  • unbureaucratic short-time allowance

LiveKomm also advises making events dependent on comprehensive risk assessments. It is important that decisions are made in close cooperation with the authorities.
The board of the LiveMusikKommission e.V.

>> Access here the communication toolkit provided by LiveKomm (in German and in English).

CLUBCOMMISSION BERLIN

ClubCommission Berlin press statement on coronavirus – 28/02/2020

The Berlin Club Commission have put into place United We Stream – Berlin: a live streaming platform on club culture and a crowdfunding campaign to support Berlin night clubs.

ClubCommission Berlin, in association with Arte Concerts, have released United We Stream: the streaming platform of Berlin clubs, organizers and artists. This channel will propose the whole range and variety of the Berlin club scene. In addition to the live broadcast of DJ sets, live music and performances, United We Stream will also be a platform for round tables, lectures and films on club culture topics.
In addition, United We Stream also proposes a solidary funding pot for the public to support the Berlin club scene: Save Berlin’s Club Culture in Quarantine.

Aid efforts supporting the live music sector

The German government has announced €550bn of financial aid dedicated to the creative industries and other German businesses by the government. Culture minister Monika Grütters says the aid will also benefit the creative industries, which are worth €100bn to the German economy.

“This industry has been particularly hard hit and in some cases existentially affected by event cancellations or falling revenues from ticket sales and the loss of fees without replacement,” said State Minister for Culture Monika Grütters.

Minister of State Grütters intends to sharpen and implement existing programmes in such a way that the measures adopted by the Federal Government will specifically benefit cultural institutions and, in particular, artists in need as well as other freelancers working in the cultural and creative industries. Link to press statement (DE)

Federal aid rests on three major pillars that are suitable for responding to the specific living and working conditions of creative people:

1) Small businesses are helped to secure their operations.
2) Personal living conditions are safeguarded.
3) Many individual legal measures are intended to alleviate hardships.

For more details, Link to the press statement (DE)

This collaborative pad provides an updated overview of all the emergency aid and support services currently available to cultural and creative professionals.

Overview of aid & support services (German)

BERLIN

Companies in Berlin affected by the Corona crisis can apply for the Senate’s liquidity aid starting Thursday 19/03/2020. This also applies to all small and medium-sized companies with up to 250 employees including restaurants and clubs. At the beginning of the week, the Senate had announced that in a first step, a volume of up to 100 million euros in bridging loans would be made available through the IBB.

Thereafter, a liquidity fund of up to 200 million euros will be available. In addition, tax prepayments are to be adjusted to the situation and interest-free deferrals of tax debts are to be possible.

Italy

Advocacy work from live music sector

Italy is the most affected by COVID-19 measures: all live music venues and clubs are closed down, some cities are under quarantine.
In reaction to these measures, the Italian live music association have launched several campaigns.

#CheMusicaSarebbeSenzaPersone campaign (#WhatWouldMusicBeWithoutPeople campaign)

This campaign was launched in support of the Italian live music venues, clubs and festivals and all the professionals who gravitate around these places: technicians, sound and light designers, artistic directors, managers, artists, press officers, bouncers…
The argument of the campaign is that the live music sector is made by these people. What would music be without them?
This campaign was used by KeepOn Live to discuss with their Ministry of Cultural Goods and Tourism. The Italian live music association have shared their concerns with public authorities, and highlighted that, although public health is their main concern, the social, cultural and economic roles of live music scenes must not be forgotten. KeepOn Live asked the government for a compensation scheme for the closed-down venues and clubs.

#IoRestoACasa campaign (#IStayHome campaign)

KeepOn Live have joined MiBACT ( Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism. It is dedicated to the protection, conservation, enhancement and promotion of the Italian cultural patrimony.) in the #IORESTOACASA campaign, which aims at providing cultural and artistic offers online, so people can enjoy them while staying at home.
KeepOn Live created their own streaming platform, for people to enjoy live music even though they have to stay at home: “KeepOn-Air“, a virtual space where to share all the live, talks, interviews and interventions connected to locals and festivals that will be streamed during this forced closing period , to have a digital archive of the live music sector to bring to the ministries when the emergency returns.

#StayOn

#StayON is a relay of events streamed to gather the Italian live music sector around a single large virtual stage, focusing attention on the need to rekindle lights on cultural spaces: places of social gathering and a source of work for thousands of people in Italy.

Every live stream is associated with a link to support local fundraising campaigns dedicated to hospitals and civil protection, a way for the live music sector to show support and solidarity.


Find a detailed overview of COVID-19 measures at national level, put up together by KeepOn Live in Italian here.

Latvia

Aid efforts supporting the live music sector

In Latvia, the Ministry of Culture and the Consumer Rights Protection Centre agreed on some first measures in order to deal with the relationship between event organisers and their audience.

A 6 months time frame was agreed on to allow organisers new dates for postponed shows starting to count form the day when state of emergency will end. During this time frame, tickets do no have to be refunded. If this time frame ends and the organiser does not have announced a new date for the already paid show, the organiser will have to refund the tickets.

Netherlands

Capacity-building and advocacy work of the live music sector

VNPF regularly publishes updates on the economic and administrative measures developed by the Dutch government regarding the COVID-19 crisis.
>> Access the VNPF website here

Aid efforts supporting the live music sector

An emergency package has been announced on Tuesday 17 March. These generic measures can already bring some relief to cultural and creative institutions. In addition, the Minister of Education, Culture and Science will come up with specific measures for the cultural and creative sector.

Temporary Emergency Relief Measure for Work Retention:

Employers who face at least 20% expected loss of turnover can apply for a period of 3 months for an allowance in wage costs amounting to a maximum of 90% of the wage bill of permanent employees and employees with a flexible contract insofar as they remain employed during the application period.

Applications for deferral of payment to the Tax and Customs Administration:

The Tax and Customs Administration will grant special deferment of payment to all entrepreneurs who have been or will be confronted with liquidity problems as a result of the corona crisis.

In addition to some general compensation measures for companies in the Netherlands ,  the Dutch government (Ministry of Culture)  also announced some extra measures on Friday the 27th of March, specifically for the cultural sector.  In short summary:

  • Compensation of 90% of venues’ staff costs (fixed personnel costs) based on % of lost turnover in March, April and May)
  • One-off  € 4000 compensation for every company in certain sectors (including music venues) that lost income
  •  Delays in tax payments allowed
  • Easier access to extra loans
  • Emergency income for freelancers for 3 months
  • Commitment that all subsidies will be paid
  • Plan for venues and festivals to be allowed to give vouchers instead of refunds for postponed/cancelled show

Norway

Capacity-building and advocacy work of the live music sector

NKA have put up a resource platform to inform their members of the evolution of the situation in Norway. The platform presents advice to members as well.
>> Access the NKA COVID-19 resource platform

Aid efforts supporting the live music sector

The Norwegian government has suggested a compensation package of approx. 30.000 million € for the whole cultural sector. NKA, our member in Norway, welcomes this package. The loss estimated for the Norvegian cultural / and event industry, consisting of concert organizers and festivals, event organizers, artists, stage technical actors and cinemas alone, is of around NOK 930 million in the period March-April. A recent survey of members of NKA shows that their losses during the same period are approx. NOK 430 million. If this situation persists for the period May-September, NKA estimates a further loss of NOK 2.8 billion for their members. NKA Statement (NO)

The following measures announced by government and authorities will also support of live music venues, clubs, festivals & other live music organisations and workers:

Layoff regulations

  • The employer period on layoffs is reduced from 15 to 2 days.
  • Full pay is introduced for a minimum of 20 days from termination, the state covers from days 3 to 20.
  • A scheme is introduced which guarantees people an income of at least 80% of the unemployment benefit.

VAT regulations

  • The government agrees to postpone the payment of VAT due on April 10, 2020. The Government has also said that the payment of the employer’s contribution due next May (May 15) is postponed.
  • In addition, the low VAT rate is reduced from 12 to 8 per cent. This is a temporary arrangement “for the time being”. The change will take effect from 1 January 2020.

 Adapted schemes for self-employed and freelancers

  • A temporary scheme is introduced for self-employed and freelancers who now lose all or part of their income base as a result of the corona pandemic. They receive compensation where the coverage ratio is about 80% of the average of the last three years’ income. The compensation is covered from the 17th day after the loss of income occurred.

On the 15th of March, the government decided to establish two loan and guarantee schemes with a total of NOK 100 billion. One is a government loan guarantee for bank loans, especially aimed at small and medium-sized businesses. Companies in crisis should thus more easily obtain the liquidity they need to get through the crisis. The scheme applies to new loans to companies that banks consider to be profitable in the long term. Initially, it will have a limit of NOK 50 billion.

Spain

Advocacy work from live music sector

The Spanish federal live music association ACCES, as part of the federation of Spanish Music (ESMúsica), have released an official statement adressed to the Spanish government. This document states:

  • that priority is given to public health and security
  • ESMúsica supports the measures taken by the local and federal Spanish governments
  • the need for financial support for cultural businesses and SMEs, as stated by the Spanish government and the European Commission
  • that this crisis may damage greatly the survival of the live music sector
  • that ESMúsica stays at the disposition of the government to collaborate in order to make sure that the measures taken are in accordance with the specificities of the sector.

The live music association for the Catalonian region, ASACC, have issued a statement regarding the negative effects for live music scenes of the measures taken for the COVID-19 crisis. ASACC states the full comprehension and responsability of the Catalonian sector regarding the situation; the live music association asks authorities to put into place the necessary measures to support and sustain the Catalonian live music sector.

ASACC’s statement on COVID-19 (12/03/2020)

The live music association for the Basque Country, Kultura Live, have released a statement with the Basque music association Musika Bulegoa. This document raises awareness on the negative effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the Basque music sector, representing over 1600 organisations and 4000 jobs.
The sectro calls for unity and solidarity and have launched the ZUZENEKO ARTEAK RESET ARTES EN VIVO, defending the sector, organisations and professionals side by side, and organizing to return to business after the crisis in the best possible conditions.
>> read the statement here (ES)

Aid efforts supporting the live music sector

Support measures to be announced on th 18th of March 2020. The Minister of Culture and Sport, José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes, will inform the cultural sector of the measures approved by the Government to support the Spanish economy and society, of which the cultural sector is a fundamental part.

In Spain, live music venues and clubs are not yet fully recognized as cultural and social actors. We hope that the promised measures will also support the live music sector. Link to press statement (ES)

Sweden

Capacity-building work from the live music sector

The Swedish live music association has launched a resource platform collecting best practice initiatives venues have put into place to minimize the negative impact of COVID-19 on their economy as well as information on national compensation funds and the advocacy work of Svensk Live.
>> Access Svensk Live’s Coronavirus Resource Platform
>> Access the Coronavirus: Support Your Local Music Scene initiatives

Aid efforts supporting the live music sector

SEK 500 million will be added to the cultural sector in support due to the Corona crisis. The support will benefit among others organizers of events who would have had more than 500 visitors. The Minister of Culture confirmed that events with less than 500 visitors can also be supported.

This emergency solution also includes freelancers who are not covered by the aid are government authorities.

Svesnk Live welcomes this effort, which shows that the government and collaborative parties listened to our arguments and understand the major negative consequences cancelled concerts, performances and festivals receive.

Swedisch government announced following economic support:

  • Central government will compensate municipalities and regions for extraordinary measures and extra costs in health and medical care associated with the COVID-19 virus.
  • To reduce the risk of the virus spreading in society, the qualifying day for sick pay will be discontinued between 11 March and 31 May, in that central government will pay sickness benefit for the first day of sickness.
  • The Public Health Agency of Sweden, the National Board of Health and Welfare and the Medical Products Agency will be allocated additional resources.
  • Resources for the disease carrier’s allowance will be increased, as it is assumed that the number of individuals entitled to this benefit will increase.
  • Central government will temporarily assume responsibility for sick pay for two months.
  • Liquidity reinforcement is given via tax accounts for VAT, employers’ social security contributions and employees’ preliminary tax from 1 January 2020.
  • Short-term layoffs introduced as of 16 March.
  • In addition to the Government’s measures, the Riksbank has announced that it is loaning up to SEK 500 billion to companies via the banks to safeguard credit supply.

Swedish Government Press statement (EN)

Switzerland

Advocacy work from live music sector

PETZI statement from 08/03/2020 (FR)
PETZI statement from 08/03/2020 (DE)

This statement acknowledges the measures taken by Swiss government to avoid the virus’ propagation. Yet, PETZI declares that these measures must be “reasonable and proportionate”. Their effect must not endanger the existence of a whole part of the cultural sector. PETZI underlines the harm these measure can do especially to small and independent live music venues, clubs and festivals as they often do not have sufficient financial reserves to counter the effects a reduced activity would have.
PETZI also asks for an harmonization of the cantonal decisions and measures taken in the different parts of Switzerland; authorities are asked to communicate adapted, comprehensible and applicable measures for their members to act within the Swiss legal frame. The Swiss live music association are encouraging the best practice of the Bern and Zurich cantons which provided clear and adapted measures.
PETZI is pushing the public authorities to put into place:

  • a support fund for cultural institutions, which would be easily accessible;
  • compensation possibilities in case of forced-unemployment or if the venues, clubs or festival’s activities are forced to be cancelled:

PETZI also asks its government to re-examine the measures should they be prolonged after the 15th of March, and offers public authorities its expertise to implement adapted measures regarding COVID-19 propagation prevention.


Statement from Swiss Cultural organisations, 12/03/2020 (French)

Statement from Swiss Cultural organisations, 12/03/2020 (German)

On the 12th of March, PETZI, together with other relevant actors in the cultural and event industry met with the Swiss Federal of Culture in Bern for a hearing. All parties shared the common goal of sustaining the Swiss cultural landscape in its diversity, its sites, its operators and workplaces as well as for the segment of amateur practices. PETZI recommends the government to rapidly take the following measures :

  • Partial unenmployment insurance for independent workers of the cultural sector as well as everyone who cannot benefit from partial unemployment;
  • Simplified access to partial unemployment for every SME of the cultural sector;
  • Compensation for canceled events, including artists’ fees;
  • A solidary emergency fund for artists and cultural businesses whose existence is compromised;
  • The maintaining of public subsidies to the cultural sector and the coordination of actors from the amateur and cultural incentive segment;
  • Finally, that the direct implication of cultural actors in the conception and implementation of concrete measures continues.

The statement also underlines the great responsabilities taken by the cultural actors to prevent the COVID-19 from spreading, highlighting the cultural sector’s economic and social importance.
PETZI and the other signatories declares that this crisis situation shows the need and relevance of having an economic and statistic survey of the cultural and events sector, as the sector is asking for decades. Same goes with the precarious working conditions of individual businesses and independent artists who cannot benefit from good social protection.
The statement concludes that short-term measures need to be implemented in order to limit the impact of this crisis. Lessons should be learned from this situation to improve the conditions of the cultural sector on a midde-term period.

Aid efforts supporting the live music sector

On 20 March 2020, the Federal Council approved a package of measures worth CHF 32 billion to mitigate the economic impact of the spread of the coronavirus. Taking into account the measures decided on 13 March, more than CHF 40 billion will be available. The ball is now in Parliament’s court: the Finance Delegation will decide on this at the beginning of next week. The aim of these measures, which are aimed at different target groups, is to safeguard jobs, guarantee wages and support the self-employed. Measures have also been taken in the field of culture and sport to prevent bankruptcies and to cushion the financial consequences. News are expected on Friday, 20th of March.

Culture: 280 million francs released for immediate aid and compensation for cancellations

The Federal Council wants to prevent lasting damage to Switzerland’s cultural landscape and to maintain the country’s cultural diversity. Immediate aid and compensation should help to alleviate the economic consequences of the ban on events for the cultural world (performing arts, design, film, visual arts, literature, music and museums). An initial tranche of CHF 280 million will be made available.

Press release of Federal Council (FR)

The cultural sector considers the measures adopted by the Federal Council on 20 March 2020 to be appropriate and reasonable for the time being.

Press statement from the Swiss cultural sector (FR)

PETZI Statement – 20/03/2020 (DE)

PETZI Statement – 20/03/2020 (FR)

PETZI Statement – 20/03/2020 (IT)

Zurich

The Zurich government council has issued emergency measures. The canton has secured bank loans to SMEs with 425 million francs. The banks are forming an aid consortium.

  • 15 million in emergency aid is available for the self-employed.
  • CHF 28 million goes to charitable organisations in the fields of culture, social affairs, sport and education.
  • The towns and municipalities are also asked to help, for example with CHF 10 per inhabitant. This would amount to around 15 million francs.
  • 8000 Zurich companies have registered short-time work so far.

Turkey

IKSV have released a policy paper entitled The Uniting Power of Arts and Needs of the Cultural Field during the Pandemic. This paper presents the importance of solidarity and support to the arts during the pandemic, as well as highlighting the wellness and awareness that the arts can bring to people.

The paper also provides an overview of the support mechanisms that have been introduced in the world and in Turkey before developping on the complementary measures that should be taken for the Turkish cultural field.

CONTENTS OF THE PAPER

  1. BUILDING SOLIDARITY IN THE CULTURAL FIELD DURINGTHE PANDEMIC
  2. WHAT KIND OF SUPPORT MECHANISMS HAVE BEEN INTRODUCED IN CREATIVE INDUSTRIES IN THE WORLD?
    a) Loans, funds and compensations designed for the field of culture and arts as well as creative industries
    b) Facilities, loans and funds for independent artists, designers and cultural workers
    c) Supports for artistic production under conditions of social distancing
    d) Knowledge sharing and advocacy in the arts and cultural sector and creative industries
  3. WHAT IS THE CURRENT STATE OF PUBLIC SUPPORTS FOR THE CULTURAL FIELD IN TURKEY?
  4. WHICH MEASURES SHOULD BE TAKEN FOR THE CULTURAL FIELD IN TURKEY?

Read IKSV’s Policy Paper (in English)

UK

Advocacy work from live music sector

On the 17th of March 2020, Music Venue Trust wrote an open letter to the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to call on the government’s lack of resolution to officially close all grassroots venues while the British Public Health recommended the public to not visit social gathering places. This puts the British grassroots venues in great danger as it prevents them from benefitting from insurance and compensation.
Music Venue Trust have proposed a solution to find some funds to save grasroots music venues:
“We want to propose a simple solution and give you that choice: Cancel the 2022 Festival of Great Britain.
The government has committed £120 million to delivering an event that no one in the public has demanded, and many sectors of the public simply do not want. It has little backing in the cultural and creative industries and is neither urgent nor necessary. The entire Grassroots Music Venue sector can be mothballed for eight weeks and saved permanently for just one third of the money you have already allocated to this single event. With the remaining £80 million we would strongly urge you to create a Cultural Sector Hardship Relief Fund. That fund could take action on grassroots theatres, arts centres, community pubs, any space that is a vital hub of culture and social interaction in our communities.”
>> Read the full open letter here.


Music Venue Trust have also released a resource article sharing some advice for venues and the support schemes put into place by the UK government.
>> Read the resource here.


On the 30th of March, Music Venue Trust called on the music industry, cultural sector and the UK’s most successful musicians to come together to create a £1 million fighting fund to prevent the permanent closure of hundreds of Grassroots Music Venues across the UK. They have launched the Grassroots Music Venues Crisis Fund.
“Despite Government action, over 550 Grassroots Music Venues remain under immediate threat of closure, representing the potential permanent loss of over 5,000 jobs, over 100,000 concerts, over 300,000 performances by musicians, and over 1 million temporary employment opportunities for gig economy workers.”
>> Access the Grasroots Music Venues Crisis Fund

With the first big donations, Music Venue Trust was able to Open the Grassroots Music Venue Crisis Service, a personalised help and support for endangered venues. MVT have gathered experts which will provide robust and clear legal, planning, tenancy, licensing, rent and mortgage advice to help halt individual threats of closure posed by COVID-19. This service applies also to the Music Venues Alliance, the local antennas of Music Venue Trust accross the UK.
>> Access the Grassroots Music Venues Crisis Service


Music Venue Trust have also written an open letter to Boris Johnson, urging him to cancel the Festival of Britain 2022 and divert funds to grassroots venues.
> Read the open letter (opens in a new tab)”>>> Read the open letter

Aid efforts supporting the live music sector

Music Venue Trust regularly updates the support measures announced by the UK government and authorities in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland here.

  • Statutory Sick Pay
  • Business Rates Reliefs
  • Small Business Grant Funding
  • Time to Pay
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
  • Mortgage Relief
  • Insurance

The Arts Council of England announced their support measures for people working in the arts. You can read their latest updates here.